Computer eye strain, also called computer vision syndrome or CVS is a common eye condition affecting hundreds of thousands of people around the world. It is characterized by eye fatigue, squinting, pain, watering and blurry vision. In most patients, computer eye strain does not last too long and is generally cured by doing some eye strain exercises along with the following easy home remedies for eye strain relief:
1. Get an eye examination from time to time
If eye strain symptoms last for more than a few weeks, it is time to get your eyes examined by a doctor. If you have vision problems, the doctor may prescribe some eye strain relief drops or computer eye strain glasses to correct vision and prevent the symptoms.
2. Use proper lighting
In many cases, improper lighting is the causes of computer eye strain. Excessive ambient lighting and harsh sunlight coming in from a window can all cause severe eye strain. For preventing that, ambient lighting should be kept dim (achieved by using low intensity light bulbs and fewer tube lights). Avoid placing the computer with windows directly behind or in front of it. Instead, select a position so that your computer screen is to the right or left of the window.
3. Use anti glare computer screens and flat monitors
Anti glare computer screen can minimize the glare which is what causes eye strain in the first place. You can also cover your windows with curtains or blinds and also paint walls with darker colors and matte finish. If this is not possible, use a computer hood for shading the screen.
4. Adjust your computer settings
Apart from using an anti glare computer screen, there are a number of things you can do to minimize eye strain:
- Adjust your computer’s or TV’s brightness to a comfortable level for your eyes.
- Go for computers with flat screen LCD monitors as they flicker far less than bulky CRT monitors.
- Increase monitor refresh rate.
- You can also use a bigger font size on your computer and Smartphone or eBook readers.
- Maintain a comfortable distance of at least 40 cm between the screen and your eyes.
5. Anti reflective lens glasses
If you use glasses, change your lenses to AR or anti-reflective coating glasses that can protect your eyes from computer screen glare. Such lenses reduce glare by lowering the amount of light reflecting off their front and back.
6. Take multivitamins
Many multivitamin and mineral supplements can help strengthen the eyes to reduce eye strain. COQ10 enzyme, L-carnitine, and Resveratrol are especially beneficial as they decrease oxidative damage to the eyes and improve visual acuity.
7. Rest your eyes from time to time
Take a short break from computer work from time to time which is the easiest way to protect eyes from computer screen software. Even if you are experiencing eye strain in one eye only, you must close and rest both eyes for 5 minutes every couple of hours. This can dramatically reduce eye strain, headache and fatigue. Do limit your child’s computer time and make sure children do not spend hours playing computer games or use tablets or Smartphone. If possible, get their eyes examined from time to time.
8. Do eye strain minimizing exercises
Eye strain exercises can alleviate pain, fatigue and other computer vision syndrome symptoms:
- 20/20/20- Every 20 minutes of computer use, get up and focus on something 20 feet away from 20 seconds.
- Short walks and eye palming– Every couple of hours, get up from the computer and take a short walk. You can also do ‘eye palming’ to reduce strain.
- Eye strain yoga exercises– Rotate the eyes gently in circular, clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. Do this 3 times in each direction. Next, look as far as you can to your right and left without moving your neck. Repeat 5-6 times in each direction. Third- look as far as you can while breathing deeply. Now rub your forehead and face while bending down. Also palm the eye sockets and relax the eye muscles. This is one of the best home remedies for tired eyes and face.
- Blink more often– Blinking keeps the eyes moist and vision clear. Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times.
9. Apply cucumber/potato slices/tea bags to the eyes
Once you are home from work, relax your eyes by placing cooling cucumber slices on the eyes. You can also apply potato slices or cold used tea bags (cool them in the freezer first for 20 minutes). This will relieve pain and swelling and is an easy way to reduce eye pain at home.
10. Use artificial tears and eye strain relief drops
Computer users blink only about 20% as frequently as they normally do. This leads to eye dryness, blurry vision and fatigue. To alleviate this, keep a bottle of artificial tears or eye strain relief drops handy at all times. Your eye doctor can recommend a good brand.
Use these 10 easy ways to improve eye health.